Previously Feared Darkness, a captivating tome of poetry from Canadian
Poetry Icon Robert Priest. Robert Priest, writer of 19 books of prose, poetry,
and CD's, is a children’s author and singer/songwriter, bon vivant and man about
town, the modern day answer to the legacy of Canadian Poet Robert Service,
The Bard of Canada lives in mountains espousing the truth, inspiration and often humor, paints vignettes of the greats, John Lennon, Leonard Cohen, Milton Acorn and presenting Mr. Harper, observations of politics, poets, love, the New World and peace. As if influenced by the Counterculture Revolution of the 1960’s, flower power, free love and peace activism, the hope of this era emerges in a rambunctious, masculine, heterosexual work that is entertaining, direct connect and righteous. The Modernist influences extend to capitalization of each beginning line, a poet in step and saying his piece, “to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.”
Though waiting had happened
On the 4 a.m. bus
Out of nowhere
We waited and we waited some more
But nothing came
Nothing came to nothing
And so we sat with that
Till it was a place
Or a being
In fact it was us
This locus of nothing
And it hurt like hell
Nothingness in us
Tugging at us
Wanting to be something
If we go on waiting I believe
The bus will arrive
And we will once again
Have nothing in our arms”
and the touch of Existentialism and sisyphicus all rolled into waiting at a bus stop at 4 a.m., perhaps after a party at a bar, and you know he was actually there at that bus stop, waiting.
This Writer liked the beautiful tomes on love:
From Between Your Disconnection and Mine
“you need to say “love” precisely
love, love, concision has made me strange
I cut corners in words
I should have found you by now
everything points toward you
the very land leads down
we’ll wind up in
the same gullies
no matter what
we’ll be at the crest
of the same waves
still not making
I will stand with you
at the very feet of god
and neither you nor I
will finally nod
we could break
all the great spells
of time and circumstance
with a glance”
“Love is not the answer
It is the question
It is the command.”
“The sky is a search-engine with only one name in it: the beloved.”
This poetry has weight, it is a man’s view of life and modern life Canadian. Also, within the book of poetry are some male humor pieces, as in V – “When Churchill flashed his famous V sign/ It wasn’t for victory/ As everyone says/ It was for vagina”; from The Waistland – “And there are fat arses/ Bigger than the backs of buses/ Bursting with vile gases . . . “This is the way the world ends/ This is the way the world ends/ This is the way the world ends/ Not with a bang/ But hemorrhoids” perhaps a parody of T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland; Just a Wee Bit About Fucking and Asshole Sky.
As this Writer read this book of poetry I quietly envisioned a bar on Bay Street in Toronto in the evening peopled with the men from the newspaper, marketing and business shops all dressed in the same suit, the same shoes and all reading Robert Priest.
Near the end of the work are a series of poems with “Meme Splice” in the title with a play on two similar words, “Iron/Irony”, “Country/Cunt”, "Crisis/Christ", "Breast/Beast", "Honour/Horror" etc. an interesting concept (for Poets there is often this dichotomy in writing where 2 interchangeable words will present themselves for one spot in a line in a poem) however I found it hard to read, of the masculine and hard edges, like a bad Canadian winter where someone had died, yet I was also struck by the power of it.
The poetry is also at times political, perhaps noting the less employment of the Computerized Economy:
Definitions and Titles
"Pooration: 1. the process of making a populace poor 2. pooration to the point where cuts are made to the core essentials of life is known as core pooration.
See also: povertization and topple down economics
See also: prausterity"
As if taking the pulse of the New World, the Poet as Bard painting a postcard of now, Previously Feared Darkness by Robert Priest.
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Genre: Poetry, New Age